Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Like Clockwork:

Yes, this post is about riding my bike. I haven't had a computer on my bike since I ditched my ibike a couple of weeks ago. But I added up the mileage that I did, based on the hours on my training log, and a fairly modest 17.5 mph average, and came up with 381 for the past week. Wow. That's kind of a lot, especially when I think about last year. The training is coming along pretty well; I don't just think about riding and then whine about it, I get out there and do it. And then whine about it, if it's raining.

Tuesday was about 3 hours on the fixed gear, joining up with the REI pseudo-crit for some serious leg-speed work for an hour. No speedo, but you can't really go that fast on 69 gear inches. People looked at me like I was crazy when I'd drag them across gaps pedaling at 150 rpm or so, but there was no way I was actually going with the attacks with that small of a gear.
Wednesday, 2 and a half hours on the tacoma waterfront. Slept in on what was actually the most beautiful day of the week.
Thursday, 4 hours, 2 of them killing myself in the 53x14 or 13 at about 65 rpm, keeping the heart rate at a steady "zone 3," or kinda hard. Sloggity slog slog.
Today, a relaxed 5-hour ride, through Milton and Fife and Edgewood and every other tiny little town in the southsound area. It's impressive how quickly things get rural when you get out of town. Then, through industrialville to meet up with The Kid, because there is someone that I CAN call "the Kid," in Tacoma. The Kid was only good for an easy hour or so, through point defiance, since his knee is still pretty messed up. I feel for you, man...

Last season, I had the problem of Not Really Doing Anything in the base period. I'd just ride, for 2 and a half or 3 hours, at a steady pace. People say things like, "that's not training, it's just riding your bike." While at that point, I was at point in my fitness where any riding was probably good riding, it still feels a lot better to really train, and not just pretend to.

When I look at my training log last January and February, it's full of lots of messages whose essence are, "this sucks." At the end of December 2005, I hurt my knee pretty badly as I was just starting my season, and started too fast, apparently, as well as not protecting my knees. More on that later. Through January, it basically hurt the entire month, and that made training no fun at all. Sure, it would get a little better as I rode on, but I really should've backed it off more. Then, just as the knee was starting to feel a bit better, on 9 Feb 2006 I got hit by a car. I wasn't nearly as bad off as I could've been, but it made me seriously sore, my knee acted up more, and also my bike was wrecked, leaving me with a very knee-unfriendly fixie as my only ride. Needless to say, I was feeling like ass.

I'm so happy it's turned around this year, and need to remind myself that it's not all luck.

This reminds me, as well, I need to get back to making a training log that says more than "4 hours. Moderate pace." That's kinda all I've been writing lately.

Finally, blogs that are just piles of text aren't fun at all. So, let's throw some pictures in.

This is my fixed-gear bike. I like it. Pretty basic, overseas-made steel frame, no surprises, but it was cheap and I think it looks pretty sharp for the price, which wasn't much.

Check out the track ends. This means "dropouts," except since they are horizontal, the wheel won't DROP out at all. So, they are track ends. Some people think that huge shield thing is kind of dorky, but it makes me feel a bit safer.

These are one of my favorite things recently: Northwave Celsius winter cycling shoes. And you're darn right they are muddy! They are plenty stiff, quite walkable, warm, and waterproof. Goodbye, booties! Although, since they are waterproof, if water DOES get in, through the cuff, they become a big puddle of icy water in a hurry. Water cannot get out without you very comically removing and upending the shoe. So, if you have no front fender, and your leg warmers aren't big enough to cover the shoe's ankle, that's no good.


  • At 5:04 PM , Blogger allons-y said...

    winter shoes - who needs em....I live in maine for crying out loud, and I'm fine w/ wool socks + booties.

    Don't you just love power intervals (what I call 53X14/15 @ 65rpm)? They make you feel know what I mean.

  • At 8:22 PM , Blogger stokediam said...

    Thanks for looking out for The Kid! And I'll stick with my fleece socks and two pairs of booties, thank you very much. It took me 10 years to find something that works for me! And don't turn your nose up at those little toe-warmer packets for skiers; they are mighty nice sometimes.

  • At 10:36 PM , Blogger Argentius said...

    You all are just jealous because you don't have those nifty shoes.

    I like 'em over booties because of the rain, mud, and walking. Booties get all filled with water and mud and crap, and then they weigh 10 pounds and you can't walk for crap in 'em. Totally negates the cool of an MTB shoe.

    As for toe-warmer packets, I'm sure they work well. I try to avoid using up stuff I have to buy on rides. I don't even eat Clif bars, mostly! I just get the Coscto boxes of Quaker granola bars for like $.15 each. Chris says they are the Top Ramen of bike food...

    I might have to re-think those things if I ride tomorrow, though. Accuweather is saying snow...


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